9-21-13 Hodgepodge

Saturday, September 21, 2013

How Much Is Too Much?

I have seen psychologist Michael Hurd question the conventional wisdom that alcoholism is a disease several times in the past. Nevertheless, until this recent posting at his blog, I'd never given much thought to what this might mean to someone facing that problem:

... Alcoholism, while not a disease, is not a choice in the normal sense of the term, because "choice" is a concept that applies to being in a rational state of mind. Most people's minds are altered, at least somewhat, after even a drink or two. An alcoholic's judgment is so suspended after just one or two drinks that he feels compelled to drink many more than where he started. This doesn't just happen occasionally, but all the time.
What someone who has had a drinking problem in the past -- but might consider taking up drinking responsibly -- can do follows directly from this definition.

Weekend Reading

"It all boils down to what you get out of being with a person." -- Michael Hurd, in "Can You Agree to Disagree?" at The Delaware Coast Press

"Manners go by the wayside when people become mentally lazy." -- Michael Hurd, in "Manners -- Why Bother?" at The Delaware Wave

"Imagine the effect on our culture, particularly on the young, if the kind of fame and adulation bathing Lady Gaga attached to the more notable achievements of say, Warren Buffett." -- Harry Binswanger, in "Give Back? Yes, It's Time for the 99% to Give Back to the 1%" at Forbes

"What fuels demand for ever-more financial regulation is this basic mistake about the ethics of greed." -- Richard Salsman, in "The Financial Crisis Was a Failure of Government, Not Free Markets" at Forbes

"[T]he biggest danger is that their data will be used as intended -- i.e., to control Americans' health care by controlling the caregivers." -- Paul Hsieh, in "The Eyes of Big Medicine: Electronic Medical Records" at PJ Media

In More Detail

The Salsman piece linked above contains the following recommendation:
I've read many articles and books on the financial crisis of 2008-2009, but only one account gets both the diagnosis and prescription just right: John Allison's book, The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism is the World Economy's Only Hope (McGraw-Hill, 2013). A long-time CEO of BB&T Corp., one of the nation's most ethical (self-interested) and thus successful banks, Mr. Allison has been president of the Cato Institute for the past year. You must read his book closely if you are to understand what happened five years ago, why it happened, and why it'll happen again unless interventions are removed. [link in original]
Salsman will be saying more about Allison's book in future columns, which I plan to note here as they come out.

Amazing(ly Cheap)

Quoth Benjamin Franklin in a letter:
A Beggar asked a rich Bishop for Charity, demanding a pound. -- "A Pound to a beggar! That would be extravagant." -- "A Shilling then!" -- "Oh, it's still too much!" -- "A twopence then or your Benediction." -- "Of course, I will give you my Benediction." -- "I don't want it, for if it were worth a twopence, you wouldn't give it me."
What can I say to that but, "Amen"?


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